I‘ve always wanted to try my hand at a theatre poster and was finally given the opportunity after a chance meeting with Alan Ward at the Museums at Night event in May. As a result of our brief encounter, Alan, from The Theatre Centre, asked me to design the poster for one of their upcoming productions.
What the Thunder Said, a new play by award-winning writer Ed Harris, is based on a series of conversations and workshops with children about violence in five inner-city areas. These children spoke as victims, witnesses and sometimes perpetrators.
As the play hadn’t been completed, I used a rough sketch supplied by Ed as my starting point. I also loved the line by one of the children, ‘Sasha gets so angry her skin, bones, hair, teeth and nails turn red’, and initially explored the idea of interpreting this literally. Superheroes and superpowers were also mentioned and influenced the use of the red around the girl as an expression of her anger.
I was aiming for the feel of a comic book or manga style to connect with the age group and the fairly limited palette was a result of this. A lot was decided through trial and error – I did like the way the people at The Theatre Centre took ownership of the design and took a very active part in the development of their poster.
The decision to make the child look upwards towards the clouds tended give it a slightly more realistic feel and there was the added challenge of making the girl angry and frustrated without looking ugly – we needed to feel sympathetic towards her. The finished drawing of the girl has a touch of the David Shrigley about it – especially the fists – which I think is good as it does gets across a nice a sense of awkwardness.
For more information on What the thunder Said, please go to the link: